During the summer it can be particularly difficult to stay environmentally friendly. When the summer heat roles in, the air conditioning units start turning on, and with Atlanta’s climate, they likely stay on until September or even October.
Air conditioning units in the U.S. release about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. Using air conditioning units as sparingly as possible can help reduce those carbon dioxide emissions, and it can also save you a lot of money. Running an air conditioning unit constantly can cost a household hundreds of dollars a month depending on the size of the unit and where you live.
Here are a few tips to keep cool before flipping on the A/C.
1. Keep out the sunlight. Keep the shades drawn during the day. When sunlight streams through the windows, it causes the temperature to rise immensely.
2. Reflect the heat. If you do want to open the shades during the day, consider investing in some reflective window film to help keep the heat outside.
3. Let the cool evening air in. If temperatures are on the chilly side after the sun goes down, crack a few windows open to let a breeze come through and cool the house. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts to rise again.
4. Insulate! You want to keep cool air inside, so grab that caulk gun and seal off anywhere that air might be escaping. A handy draft dodger can help seal up those tricky leaks at the bottoms of doors and windows.
5. Change your light bulbs. Get rid of incandescent lights. Not only do those suckers use more energy, they generate a lot more heat than CFL or LED light bulbs.
6. Make sure your ceiling fans are running counter clockwise. Most modern fans will have a little switch on the side to reverse their direction. You want the fan to go clockwise in winter to push warm air down and reverse it in the summer to circulate cool air.
7. Drink icy beverages. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it still bears mentioning. What better way to beat the heat than to cool your body from the inside out?
8. Dress appropriately. Loose-fitting, light clothing goes a long way toward keeping you cool. It’s time to bust out those organic cotton shorts and tank tops!
9. Grab a towel. A towel soaked in cold water is a great way to cool down. Apply it to your neck, wrists, and forehead for some relief during the hottest part of the day.
10. Avoid the stove and oven. Both of these will add unnecessary heat to the house. Instead, fire up that outdoor grill or whip up a salad or sandwich. Your rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker are other alternatives to heating up the house with the stove or oven.
11. Try a buckwheat pillow. If the heat is preventing you from sleeping, switching to a buckwheat pillow can make a big difference, since buckwheat doesn’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows do.
12. Learn from your pets. How does your cat cope with the hottest part of the day? She snoozes! If you can squeeze in an afternoon nap, go for it.
13. Chill out. Turn on your table fan and stick a frozen bottle of water in front of it to get some cold air circulating.
14. Plant a tree. If you can, plant trees on the side of your house that gets the most sun. The extra shade will protect your home from the sun’s rays.
You can find more information on saving energy, and learn how to generate your own energy usage report here. If you’d like personalized advice on saving energy while keeping your Atlanta home cool, just give RS Andrews a call today!
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